Export hopes boost German automotive industry

Employees of car manufacturer Porsche work on a Porsche 911 at the Porsche factory in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany. (Reuters/File)
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Updated 29 July 2020

Export hopes boost German automotive industry

  • Cautious optimism is spreading among German exporters, Ifo says

BERLIN: Export expectations in the manufacturing sector of Europe’s largest economy rose in July, with the automotive industry among the biggest winners, the Ifo institute said, in a boon for a sector that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The car industry, spearhead of Germany’s export-driven economy, has taken a beating from the pandemic that halted production at some sites during a lockdown that came as companies were already struggling to shift away from diesel- and petrol-powered cars toward “green” electric vehicles.

The Ifo institute said its index tracking export expectations in the manufacturing sector rose to 6.9 points in July from -2.2 the previous month thanks to an economic recovery in many countries.

“Cautious optimism is spreading among German exporters,” Ifo said. “The automobile sector is one of the biggest winners. After some very tough months, the export business should pick up again.”

Daimler last week flagged signs of recovering demand for top-end Mercedes-Benz models and electric vehicles and Volkswagen has said it expects slight growth in China’s premium car segment this year.

BMW also posted higher second-quarter China sales.

On Monday, a monthly survey conducted by Ifo had shown business morale continued to recover in July from its biggest decline in decades, with companies the economy to rebound from the coronavirus shock — as long as a second wave of infections is avoided.

Nonetheless, the German economy is expected to plunge by double digits in the three months from April to June, when public life and economic activity came to a near halt because of the pandemic.

Ifo said on Tuesday that chemical and electronics companies were feeling more upbeat about their prospects of shipping goods abroad while the mechanical engineering sector became less pessimistic even though sales are not expected to rise.


Emirates launches airbridge between Dubai, Lebanon emergency relief 

Updated 14 August 2020

Emirates launches airbridge between Dubai, Lebanon emergency relief 

  • Customers of Emirates will be able to donate cash or pledge their Skywards Miles to the airline for the aid
  • Emirates SkyCargo will also provide 20 percent reduction on air freight transportation charges for approved shipments

DUBAI: UAE national carrier Emirates SkyCargo plans to ramp up its freighter operations to Lebanon with 50 flights to deliver emergency relief in the wake of the Beirut port blast that killed nearly 200 people.
Customers of Emirates will be able to donate cash or pledge their Skywards Miles to the airline for the aid, state news agency WAM reported.
The Emirates Airline Foundation will coordinate shipments of urgent food, medical supplies with NGO partners to ensure donations directly help those affected on the ground.
Emirates SkyCargo will also provide 20 percent reduction on air freight transportation charges for approved shipments, underscoring its commitment to expedite emergency relief efforts to Beirut.
“Today, the world is banding together to stand in solidarity with Lebanon, providing urgent relief and immediate recovery support to those affected by this tragic disaster,” Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, said. 
“Emirates supports the UAE’s ongoing humanitarian efforts to support Lebanon and is committed to bolster its global emergency response to ensure that it can support organizations which provide urgent care, shelter, food and medical support to the Lebanese people,” he added. 
Emirates said that it had dispatched several charter flights carrying food, clothing and medical supplies donated by various grassroots organizations in the UAE to Lebanon.